A Trader has reported a clever online scam which has cost them thousands of dollars and should be a serious warning for all traders.
The scam started with a reasonably substantial email order for delivery overseas and payment in advance which was a reassuring start to a series of transactions. Goods were paid by credit card with a mail order transaction completed on the Trader’s EFTPOS machine.
Perhaps a little unusual was the request for the Trader to use a special carrier and pay the delivery fee direct to the carrier. The delivery fee and the cost of the goods were reimbursed via the EFTPOS machine on each occasion.
Well, it turned out that the credit cards were stolen and the bank finally took action, cancelling the payments, and leaving our Trader out of pocket on the goods supplied and the fees paid to the delivery company. The ordering company, and the delivery company were scam operators.
This all took place over a month or so and thousands of dollars were involved. To make matters worse the bank shut down the Trader’s EFTPOS facility and issued a bill for outstanding funds. Many Traders would assume that the bank (in this case the CBA) would cover fraudulent action but that is not always the case. Many Trader’s would also assume that the use of stolen cards would be discovered quickly by the banking system but this went on for some weeks.
The Trader’s advice is simple - always double check unusual transactions, and if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
"We have had this happen to us but didn’t supply the goods as it didn’t ring true. A way to make sure that your payment are secure is to only accept payment through an online account. We use the Eway system. Transaction are verified before goods are sent out. The first 5 transactions a month are free. Anyone that wants to pay any other way is knocked back and its an absolute red flag if they want to use their only delivery. You need to be firm on how you operate your business and don’t let customers dictate the terms." - Drita McLennan
Thanks Drita. Great advice. - Ed